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ClearBank launches, and says its making UK banking history

The UK’s latest challenger bank, ClearBank, has announced its launch today and says it is the first clearing bank to enter the UK market in more than 250 years.

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ClearBank is regulated and authorised and is on track to open its doors in Autumn 2017 to financial services providers, FCA-regulated businesses and Fintechs that require access to UK payment systems and banking technology.

ClearBank is not pitching itself as another challenger bank, rather it is gearing up to become the UK’s fifth clearing bank alongside Barclays,HSBC, Lloyds and Royal Bank of Scotland.

ClearBank’s leading edge technology platform has been built on a combination of public and private cloud infrastructure. It is specifically designed to handle core banking, clearing and settlement services, in a ground-breaking partnership with Microsoft and other technology providers. The business is headed up by Executive Chairman Nick Ogden who is the founder and former CEO of Worldpay.

Former CFO of RBS Ulster Bank and CFO of Royal Bank of Canada Europe and Asia, Charles McManus, is ClearBank’s CEO and leads an executive team of high-profile industry figures including: Chief Financial Officer, Marc Jenkins; Chief Risk Officer, Steve Barry; Chief Technology Officer, Andrew Smith; and Chief Governance Officer, Philip House.

Ogden said: “There are thousands of new fintech startups and challenger banks improving choice, but the industry will never truly move forward while it’s constrained by the challenges of legacy operational structures. ClearBank was built specifically to create competition and aims to change the market dynamics radically.”

“Figures from the Cruickshank Report indicate that with the improved efficiency delivered by ClearBank’s built-for-purpose technology, between £2bn and £3bn could be saved from the annual costs that are paid for transactional banking in the UK.”

“We are delighted to share the result of more than three years of regulatory, operational and technology efforts, bringing true competition and a new level of transparency to UK banking.”

CEO Charles McManus, said: “There are two things that make ClearBank unique. Firstly, ClearBank is the first UK clearing bank to offer services that intentionally complement its customers’ market activities, driving choice and competition in the wider market. From our own customers through to the consumers they serve, we believe the benefits ClearBank offers will help develop greater choice and more inclusive service offerings.”

“Secondly, we’ve built ClearBank on cloud technologies from the ground up, meaning that our customers can access faster, more efficient and more cost-effective solutions and payment processing.”

The bank secured an investment of £25M from PPF Group and CFFI Ventures in addition to investments from the founding management team. 

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